Steps to Success: Competitive Advantage of Modern Enterprises in Poland

Steps to Success: Competitive Advantage of Modern Enterprises in Poland

Emilia Kijanka (School of Economics, Law and Medical Sciences in Kielce, Poland) and Katarzyna Lipska (School of Economics, Law and Medical Sciences in Kielce, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2097-0.ch021

Abstract

Nowadays, successful companies are those that build their adaptability by improving business processes, optimizing costs, increasing customer satisfaction, and responding quickly to their customers´ needs. The company can choose two ways: keep its status quo, without going forward or backward, or to act on the opportunities that appear in the market. The reality consists of opportunities that the entrepreneur faces, and also, there are barriers, limitations, and disappointments that arise. Still, if they use innovative solutions, they gain a competitive advantage. In the modern world, the necessary resource is knowledge, which allows entrepreneurs to improve the position of the company in the market. This chapter presents the results of a study among economics and management students, who defined their way of understanding entrepreneurship, and indicate motives of starting-up a business and ranked the features that they believed are the attributes of a successful businessperson.
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Introduction

Success is currently defined through the prism of profits achieved by the company, which is associated with the number of customers. Enterprises entering the market have to reckon with high competition if their activities are not strictly related to innovations and patents introducing new products and services to the market (Białek-Jaworska, Ziembiński, & Zięba, 2016). Therefore, when opening a business, one should analyze both the strengths and weaknesses of the enterprise, as well as its chances and threats resulting from functioning in a given environment. This will allow building a company's strategy on the market.

Being an entrepreneur is a big challenge of independence, an opportunity for professional and financial success, often also the implementation of passion and professional ambitions. Entrepreneurship is stereotypically associated with unlimited income, flexible working time, freedom, independence, lack of a boss, and implementation of own ideas. The advantages of one's own business are one of the parties; the other is the disadvantages associated with the uncertainty of staying in the market, the risk of failure and loss of funds invested, insufficient qualifications, and knowledge to run a business. Therefore, the decision about starting a business should be preceded by market analyzes, resources held, and assessment of the business skills.

Drucker distinguished seven sources of opportunities for an entrepreneur and his/her company. He divided them into internal and external conditions (Drucker, 1992). The former included unsuspected success or lack of success, as well as an unexpected external event. This can be related to the situation of an opportunity or its non-use, which generates a change in the situation of a given company. It can be said that this is a significant step in developing the company, following trends, adapting to the environments. Otherwise, the company can keep its status quo, without going forward, going backward. Secondly, the inconsistency between the reality and the image of it, which results in a positive motivation for the opportunities that the entrepreneur faces, or on the contrary, barriers, limitations, and disappointments that arise. The last aspect of the internal factors, that is, those that depend on the entrepreneur, may be innovations that result from the need for the process and changes occurring in the market structure. In order to effectively implement activities, it is necessary to be up to date and be oriented in terms of the requirements set for market participants.

In turn, to external sources, Drucker included those that refer to changes in the company's environment. These include demography, changes in perception, moods, values, as well as knowledge in exact and other sciences (Oslo Manual, 2005). These sources are independent of the entrepreneur; hence, in order to be successful on the market and be successful, it is necessary to respond to them. An entrepreneur who will effectively use occasional opportunities has a great chance to win with the competition.

The use of resources such as knowledge and management process are a step to success on the market. They are used to identify opportunities and opportunities on the market, aim to improve the competitive position, build a dynamic and learning organization, and strengthen the values of the company. The management process requires today's entrepreneurs for a specific behavior that is distinguished by creativity, learning ability, and openness to change. Companies that want to build their potential are required to become learning organizations today. The concept concerns the focus on continuous improvement of its products, processes, and services; it aims to support employees in the process of individual and group learning and also incorporates the process of learning from each other (Dziekoński & Jurczuk, 2009).

The necessity of developing knowledge and the ability to make uncertain decisions and introduce innovative undertakings is a requirement today.

Another element of building competitiveness is the use of Internet capabilities in company management. It becomes a communication platform for implementing a strategic goal, close cooperation, data exchange, and providing new possibilities for implementing business models. Today, the importance of gathering, processing, and sharing information, often of a multimedia nature, in the creation of a knowledge-based economy is underlined. It is the knowledge that drives the development of enterprises.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Enterprise: An organizational unit conducting a business activity, operating according to the law, which manages material and non-material resources.

Competitiveness: The ability to compete and to generate advantage. The similar entities compete to gain an advantage the same or similar goals, at the same time and in the same environment.

Business: A coherent area of economic activity; is an organizational structure that connected entrepreneurs with costumers, provides relevant services or products to generate profit.

SMEs: Small and medium-sized enterprises - the sector grouping medium-sized, small enterprises, and micro-enterprises; which are mainly local and regional.

Market: The mechanism coordinating the behavior of entitles who offers their products or services and buyers in the process of exchanging it.

Entrepreneurship: It is a feature of people characterized by a proactive attitude, activities aimed at ensuring rational and effective organization of resources, involving the perception of needs and improvement of ideas and the use of opportunities and readiness to take risks.

SWOT Analysis: One of the primary methods of strategic analysis of the company in its environment, in the context of the company's strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities it can use and the threats it should avoid.

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